Red Lentil, Carrot and Coconut Soup

Vibrant and soulful, vegetarian red lentil, carrot and coconut soup combines carrots, tomatoes, fresh ginger and garlic, fish sauce and coconut milk making it a hearty soup ready in an hour or less.

Serve as a main, or a side with salad or crusty bread.

I used shallots in this recipe, although a medium yellow onion will do. Red Thai curry paste is the hottest of the three (red, yellow, green) options available in grocery stores, but, in a pinch, yellow or green can be substituted. The amount of curry paste used does not make the soup spicy, therefore feel free to add more if you like heat.

Red Lentil, Carrot and Coconut Soup

This one-pot meal is delicious on its own or serve with crusty bread. For toppings, we drizzle on extra virgin olive oil, extra red chili flakes for heat and cilantro. Or some days it's kale chips and a drizzle of chili crisps providing a little texture.
Servings 6
Author Wanda Baker


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 shallots, finely chopped 3 if large, 4 if smaller
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red or yellow Thai curry paste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped or 2 large
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 28oz can diced or pureed tomatoes can also use whole, but break them up
  • 3 cups stock
  • 3-4 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outside layer removed, cut into 3-4 pieces bruise stalk with back of knife
  • 1 tsp coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • lime wedges or slices for serving
  • cilantro, chopped for serving


  • Heat oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add oil and shallots, stirring often until they start to soften.
  • Stir in garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add curry paste, red pepper flakes and carrots. Cook another1-2 minutes. If you find the mixture dry, drizzle in a little more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour in red lentils and stir to coat. Add tomatoes, stock, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until lentils and carrots are soft.
  • Stir in lime juice.
  • Pick out lemon grass stalks and lime leaves.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk and taste. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Divide soup into bowls. Top with cilantro and serve with lime.